Crofton, MD Wrongful Death Lawyer
Wrongful death lawsuits are often filed by grieving family members or executors of a deceased person’s estate because someone died because of another party’s negligence. Often, mourning family members are not sure what to do next or how to get justice for what happened to their loved ones.
In these difficult circumstances, our lawyers are ready to help. We understand how sensitive preparing a wrongful death lawsuit can be, so we can support you through every step of the process, be that interacting with insurance companies, estate executors, and opposing counsel or forming a strong claim to take to court. You do not have to plan a wrongful death lawsuit on your own.
Call our compassionate wrongful death lawyers with Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 to talk about your case for free.
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Crofton, MD
In most personal injury cases, figuring out who is able to file a lawsuit for their injuries is not a complicated task. The injured person contacts a lawyer and files their case at the appropriate court. In a wrongful death case, the injured party is deceased, so they cannot file a lawsuit. That means that other people need to file a lawsuit.
Different states have different rules for who can file a wrongful death lawsuit. Some states make it so that only the “executor” can file a wrongful death claim. An executor is someone who is put in charge of a deceased person’s worldly possessions after they have passed away.
Maryland, on the other hand, allows more people than just the executor to bring a wrongful death claim in court. Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. Art., § 3-904 allows spouses, parents, and children of the deceased to file wrongful death claims.
If there are no surviving spouses, parents, or children of the deceased, then any blood relative or anyone related by marriage can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Maryland, if they are dependent on the victim.
Discuss your situation with our wrongful death lawyers to see if you are not one of these qualifying family members, as there may still be ways you can get compensation for your loved one’s death if you are listed in their will by filing a survival action.
Causes of Wrongful Death in Crofton, MD
Many accidents that could result in a personal injury lawsuit can also become a wrongful death claim if things take a wrong turn. Wrongful deaths are usually the result of another party’s negligence. Had that negligence not occurred, there likely would have been no accident, injury, or death.
Car accidents can result in occupants of motor vehicles losing their life. Drunk driving is a common cause of fatal car accidents. In fact, the drunk driver often comes out unscathed because, in their inebriated state, they do not tense up and get the full force of a motor vehicle impact.
Death from a car accident is more likely to happen to a pedestrian since motorists have the protection afforded by a car while pedestrians do not. More worrying is that a fatal injury might not be immediately apparent after a car accident. For example, if a pedestrian gets hit by a car and that impact creates an unruptured aneurysm that does not burst for some time, it might not be obvious for a while that they need medical care.
Truck accidents are incredibly dangerous and can easily result in death for the driver of another vehicle. The size and weight disparity between an 18-wheeler and an ordinary sedan dramatically increases the chance that death could occur in a truck accident. Truck accidents are frequently caused by negligent truck drivers who are not following traffic laws or are fatigued behind the wheel when they should not be driving.
Medical malpractice is when someone gets injured, misdiagnosed, or otherwise goes through negligent treatment by a medical professional. It is not hard to see how a mistake in a medical setting could lead to death. These mistakes could be obvious, like hitting a vital artery during surgery, or more discrete, like misdiagnosing a terminal condition that could have been treated if properly identified sooner.
Medical malpractice lawsuits are very complex and have unique legal needs that need to be addressed. If your wrongful death claim is based on medical malpractice, speak to our lawyers about your particular situation.
Negligent Property Owners
If someone does not take care to make sure their property is not dangerous, people could get hurt or killed. Property owners have a duty to ensure that their premises are clear of all known hazards. For example, if a property owner has stairs that are in a state of disrepair, and then a guest falls on them and breaks their neck and dies, the property owner could be liable in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Deadlines for Wrongful Death Claims in Crofton, MD
There is a time limit on how long you have to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Maryland. Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. Art., § 3-904(g) gives plaintiffs have three years to file a wrongful death claim after the accident. This is called a statute of limitations. After the statutory period has run out, you cannot bring a lawsuit to recover damages, as it will be dismissed by the court.
It may be difficult to bring a claim when emotions are still raw so close to an untimely death of a loved one, but it is important you file your lawsuit in a timely fashion so you have a chance of getting justice in court.
Speak With Our Crofton, MD Wrongful Death Lawyers About Your Case
Our wrongful death lawyers with Rice, Murtha & Psoras are ready to give free case reviews when you call (410) 694-7291.